“I want to take the risk. My brother is important to me.”

That’s what Derek Hadley, a 31-year-old man with autism from Springfield, Oregon told the Lexington Herald Leader about donating a kidney to his 33-year-old brother Jeff. Jeff was born with Abdominal Muscular Deficiency Syndrome that caused a chain of birth defects including the need for a new kidney.

The decision that Jeff needed a new kidney was when they began to deteriorate. By the age of 30 he only had one functioning kidney. Jeff also was dealing with cancer. After a 4-month process of tests to see if Derek was a match with Jeff it was finally confirmed. The entire time everyone who was part of Derek’s village made sure he understood the risks of doing this. Derek kept reminding everyone though that he was doing it for his brother.

The transplant ended up being a success and Jeff and Derek are now out of the hospital and recovering at home.

Jeff said, “I don’t want to say I was surprised. I didn’t know which way it would go, whether he wanted to donate his kidney or not. But I’m eternally grateful. I’ll always be grateful.”

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